Skip to content
Thoughtful, detailed coverage of everything Apple for 29 years
and the TidBITS Content Network for Apple professionals

Category: Productivity

Adam Engst 8 comments

Sal Soghoian Reveals macOS’s Hidden Custom Control Panels

At MacTech Conference, automation guru Sal Soghoian gave a talk in which he revealed how, with the addition of just a Luna Display dongle, anyone can use built-in macOS accessibility features to turn an iPad into a touch-sensitive custom controller for the Mac.

Adam Engst No comments

MacPaw Opens Setapp for Teams

The Setapp subscription service provides access to over 160 useful Mac apps for $9.99 per month. Now MacPaw is offering a beta of Setapp for Teams, which provides the same set of apps with slightly reduced per-user pricing and single-point billing.

Adam Engst 8 comments

BBEdit 13 Simplifies Pattern-Based Searching

The venerable text editor stays fresh in its latest version with the addition of a Pattern Playground that lets you experiment interactively with grep-based searches, a Grep Cheat Sheet, live search result highlighting, and more. 

Adam Engst 15 comments

Apple Releases macOS 10.14.6, iOS 12.4, watchOS 5.3, tvOS 12.4, and More

Apple has released macOS 10.14.6, iOS 12.4, watchOS 5.3, and tvOS 12.4. In a surprise move, the company also pushed out iOS 10.3.4 and iOS 9.3.6 for older iOS devices that can’t run iOS 12.

Michael E. Cohen No comments

Making and Using Tables of Contents in Pages

The latest versions of Apple’s Pages all offer easy table-of-contents creation. Here’s how to make them and why you might want to, even if you’re not publishing a book.

Timothy Buck 6 comments

Terminology: Where Word Explorations Begin

Do you ever hear a word you don’t know or struggle to find the perfect synonym? If so, the Terminology iOS app might be for you. It’s a great place to start a word search and, with its extensible actions, you’re likely to find what you need.

Josh Centers 5 comments

Apple Expands Its Repair Partnership with Best Buy

Apple has expanded its repair partnership with technology superstore Best Buy to include every Best Buy store in the United States. But if you have a choice, is Best Buy the best place to go for Apple repairs?

Adam Engst 72 comments

The Dark Side of Dark Mode

Apple has pushed Dark Mode hard in Mojave, and it will appear in iOS 13 as well. If Apple thinks Dark Mode is such a good idea, should you switch to it? Only if you’re more interested in being trendy than productive, since the science behind human visual perception is resoundingly against Dark Mode.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 18 comments

Apple Debuts LG’s All-New 23.7-inch UltraFine Display

When Julio Ojeda-Zapata went to his local Apple Store for a look at Mac monitors, a staffer offered him something unexpected: the 23.7-inch LG UltraFine Display. This monitor is so new there is little public information about it—it’s not even listed on Apple’s Web store. How does it compare with LG’s 21.5-inch UltraFine 4K Display and 27-inch UltraFine 5K Display?

Michael E. Cohen 9 comments

New PDFpen 11 Introduces Split View and Font Bar

Smile has updated its PDF editing apps, PDFpen and PDFpenPro, to version 11, offering a new Split View capability, a Font Bar for easy PDF text formatting, and other welcome conveniences.

Adam Engst 9 comments

Cardhop Rethinks How You Use Contacts in iOS

Looking for a faster and easier way to start phone calls, text conversations, or email messages with people in your contacts list? Cardhop for iOS from Flexibits brings the Mac version’s speed and elegance to the iPhone and iPad. Adam Engst takes a look.

Michael E. Cohen 8 comments

iWork Update Brings iOS Apps Closer to Parity

Following closely upon the release of the new iPad Air and iPad mini, Apple’s latest iWork update brings the productivity suite’s iOS apps closer to parity with their Mac siblings.

Adam Engst 38 comments

It’s Frustrating That Preview in Mojave Isn’t Better

After taking a close look at Preview in Mojave while updating “Take Control of Preview,” Adam Engst comes away disappointed. The new features aren’t impressive, one notable change is actively bad, and there are new bugs. But he’d still like to see Apple enhance the still-powerful graphics and PDF editor.

Scholle McFarland 19 comments

14 Siri Tricks You Can Use Right Now

Siri takes a lot of flak, but it’s a lot more powerful than many people realize. If you haven’t been using Siri for much, these tips from “Take Control of Siri” author Scholle McFarland will expand your conversations with Apple’s digital assistant—and hopefully get Siri to do more for you.

Jeff Porten 6 comments

Attach an iPad to Your MacBook as a Second Display with Mountie

If you’d like to use another screen with your MacBook while traveling but can’t figure out how to arrange and support it, Jeff Porten has found a simple clip that attaches an iPad to a MacBook for use as a second display.